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By Zach Cavanagh
University of Utah tight end Cole Fotheringham has one more great college football game in his career, as the Utes prepare to play in their first-ever Rose Bowl against Ohio State on Jan. 1, but the 2016 San Clemente graduate already has his sights set on the next level.
Fotheringham announced his intention to declare for the 2022 NFL Draft following the Rose Bowl in an Instagram post on Monday, Dec. 13.
“I am beyond grateful for the experiences that this University and football team have provided me with,” Fotheringham wrote in the post. “The time goes by fast, and I have tried my best to be present through it all. Now, looking back, I am humbled and honored to have been part of so many special teams. I don’t doubt that the relationships I have made will carry with me through the rest of my life.”
Fotheringham is a fourth-year junior, due to an extra year of eligibility provided after the pandemic season of 2020. The 6-foot- 4, 243-pound tight end has caught 13 passes for 109 yards this season, but he has also been cited as a key blocker in Utah’s run to its first Pac-12 Conference championship.
“With that being said, I am excited to finish my college career with one more go at it in the Rose Bowl with my brothers,” Fotheringham wrote. “I will be declaring for the 2022 NFL draft with the hopes of continuing my football career. Whatever happens in life, I am confident that my experience here at Utah will have prepared me to face whatever success or adversity may come.”
If Fotheringham is selected in the NFL Draft on April 28-30 in Las Vegas, he would be the fifth San Clemente High School alumnus to be selected and the first since former USC quarterback Sam Darnold was selected No. 3 overall by the New York Jets in 2018.
The other four Triton draft picks were Darnold, offensive lineman Sean Harlow (drafted in 2017 fourth round by Atlanta out of Oregon State), offensive lineman Kyle Murphy (drafted in 2016 sixth round by Green Bay out of Stanford) and quarterback Bill Kenney (drafted in 1978 12th round by Miami out of Northern Colorado).
If Fotheringham plays in the NFL, he’ll be the eighth former Triton to do so. In addition to the four drafted San Clemente alumni, offensive lineman Kevin Murphy (undrafted in 2012 out of Harvard) played with the Minnesota Vikings, offensive lineman Brian de la Puente (undrafted in 2008 out of Cal) played with the New Orleans Saints and wide receiver Trevor Insley (undrafted in 2000 out of Nevada) played with the Indianapolis Colts.
Heading into the Rose Bowl, Fotheringham has played in 33 games over three seasons at Utah with a career total of 37 receptions for 398 yards and three touchdowns.
At San Clemente, Fotheringham played in 34 games over three varsity seasons with 100 receptions for 1,244 yards and 19 touchdowns. As a senior, Fotheringham had 45 receptions for 600 yards and 10 touchdowns, with 50 receptions for 585 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. The Tritons lost in the CIF-SS championship game in both of those seasons. As a sophomore, Fotheringham was one of a handful of Tritons who stepped in at quarterback for then-junior Darnold, who went down with an injury early in the 2013 season. Fotheringham was also a basketball teammate with Darnold, as Fotheringham was a four-year varsity player on the San Clemente boys basketball team.
Zach Cavanagh is the sports editor for Picket Fence Media. Zach is multiple California Journalism Award winner and has covered sports in Orange County since 2013. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ZachCav and follow our sports coverage on Twitter @SouthOCSports. Email at firstname.lastname@example.org.